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Geriatrics; Shelanski/Mayeux GW&H; (Psycho)social genomics; New paradigm


The following is a lot of info. It's not a priority, but I wanted to share it - should it, in time, help explain (and perhaps prepare for) the larger IOM-HHS picture.


NIH apparently considers "menstrual cycle disorders" to be a "mental disorder" in the field of geriatrics.

I find this especially horrifying since a lot of menstrual-related pain, etc. can be remedied (completely or near completely) by dietary changes (gluten-free, non-or-low dairy diet, etc.) - incredibly important information now understood and shared by many nutritionists and gynecologists - while other "doctors" remain clueless and/or prefer a label of mental illness.

From: the National Institute of Mental Health Programs -->
Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development (DATR) -->
Geriatrics Research Branch

Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development (DATR):

The DATR supports programs aimed at understanding the pathophysiology of adult and late-life mental illness and hastening the translation of behavioral science and neuroscience advances into innovations in clinical care. The division supports a broad research portfolio, which includes studies of the phenotypic characterization and risk factors for major psychiatric disorders; clinical neuroscience to elucidate etiology and pathophysiology of these disorders; and psychosocial, psychopharmacologic, and somatic treatment development.

Geriatrics Research Branch:

This branch supports research in the etiology and pathophysiology of mental disorders of late life (such as Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, neuroregulatory and hemostatic disorders, and menstrual cycle disorders), the treatment and recovery of persons with these disorders, and the prevention of these disorders and their consequences. The program encourages collaborative multidisciplinary research programs using the tools of molecular neuroscience, cognitive sciences, and social and behavioral sciences to facilitate the translation of basic science and preclinical research to clinical research."


Studies may involve use of brain imaging, pharmacogenetics and genomics, and molecular biology related to neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders of aging. Disorders include: Mood, anxiety, and personality disorders; psychotic disorders and schizophrenia; psychiatric syndromes and behavioral disturbances in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias; suicide; neuroregulatory disorders and homeostatic disorders including sleep disorders, eating disorders, and disorders associated with the menstrual cycle.


So, I guess I'm wondering if IOM-ME/CFS panelist Michael Shalenski also considers "menstrual cycle disorders" to be a "major psychiatric disorder" - since he too works in geriatrics; and since psych people often lump menstrual disorders, IBS, CFS/ME, etc. all into the same catagory.


My other observation is that a seemingly close associate of Shelanski appears heavily involved in the Gulf-War-and-Health volumes:

"The Alzheimer's disease Research Center (ADRC) at Columbia began in the late 1980's when Drs. Richard Mayeux and Michael Shelanski decided that their common interests in Alzheimer's disease and the different approaches - epidemiological and cell biological - to the problem could nucleate a broadly based research effort on Alzheimer's disease and related neurological degenerative disorders at Columbia..."

Gulf War and Health: Volume 2. Insecticides and Solvents (2003)

Gulf War and Health: Volume 3. Fuels, Combustion Products, and Propellants (2005)

Gulf War and Health: Volume 6. Physiologic, Psychologic, and Psychosocial Effects of Deployment-Related Stress (2008)

Gulf War and Health Vol.1-9: Authors... http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...rs-editors-staff-consultants-reviewers.26519/


When I searched "Shelanski" and "social genomics" (1) - (a term taken from a blog entry on DSM-5 (2)), I found the following:

A book (essay collection) (3) by Eric Kandel (4) who is listed as the first American psychiatrist to win the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. It states as well that most of Kandel's work has been done at Columbia U. At some point (post-doc), he also worked in the mental health division of NIH...

The book states the, "...Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia (5) became what is arguably the leading research group in the world in brain science." p. xii (Kandel's described as a founding director.)

In 1974, Kandel became a member of the National Academy of Sciences. And in the intro to this collection of essays, Kandel names Michael Shelanski as part of the Center for Neurobioloby and Behavior. Kandel says that much of the collected essays grew from his time at the Center with his colleagues. p.xxvi. I didn't look at the collected essays.

See also Psychosocial genomics (6): "The notion that social experience can lead to changes in gene expression was voiced most prominently by Nobel laureate, Eric Kandel, who regarded this observation as the core component of a new paradigm for psychiatry (1998)."

Could DSM-5 be something of a template for what's now at play with IOM? I'm just wondering how/if we're going to see culture-bound syndromes (2) and social genomics (1, 2) somehow converge. DSM-5 has been described as giving significantly more weight to culture-bound syndromes (2).

(1) "Social Regulation of Human Gene Expression" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3020789/

(2) http://thefprorg.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/dsm-5-on-culture-a-significant-advance/

(3) http://books.google.se/books?id=KCkkoXVyKQcC&pg=PR25&lpg=PR25&dq=Michael Shelanski social genomics&source=bl&ots=pZ_gwKW-JK&sig=odL1b_zAAEUBz2jjbB8fNsPJJJU&hl=sv&sa=X&ei=JrG8UqK-LMnx4QTloYCwBQ&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Michael Shelanski social genomics&f=false

(4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Kandel

(5) http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/neurology/research/neurobiology.html

(6) "Neuroplasticity, Psychosocial Genomics, and the Biopsychosocial Paradigm in the 21st Century"


And when HHS says CCC doesn't address research acquired in the past decade, I suspect they may be referring to info such as reference (6) above. For additional info, please especially see this post (post 33) from a different thread:



Consider also:

"As part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to help individuals experiencing mental health problems, today Vice President Biden announced that $100 million will soon be available to increase access to mental health services and improve mental health facilities." (10 December 2013)


"The Veterans Administration’s mental health budget has skyrocketed from less than $3 billion in 2007 to nearly $7 billion in 2014..." (see CCHR below).


And finally, the psychiatry watchdog group CCHR just released a new video/film (a bit sensational in style but still addresses very important issues) criticizing impropor-and-over use of psychiatric drugs in the military (Congressional Hearings On Antidepressant-Induced Suicide In The Military).

Malcolm Hooper appears near the film's end (1.37). And the film alleges that the government uses the military as a captive population to test on - before implementing such practices upon the population as a whole. Whether true or not - this does seem the case for IOM-ME/CFS.

If interested, here's the film and its description: http://www.cchr.org/documentaries/the-hidden-enemy.html

Edit: Re Congressional Hearings On Antidepressant-Induced Suicide In The Military, see testimony here http://www.breggin.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=286

and more info here http://www.policymic.com/articles/58467/veteran-suicide-rate-skyrocketing-at-same-time-as-va-budget.

here (including the VA being financially overwhelmed by disabled vets) http://www.military.com/daily-news/...skyrockets-despite-federal-spending-cuts.html

and here (regarding cuts to pension, except for those who are "disabled". Imo and as seen elsewhere, financies will define disability, not science.) http://freebeacon.com/vast-majority-of-military-pension-cuts-remain-in-omnibus-spending-bill/

- though I am not familiar w/ the above sources. There are other media sources as well, from Fox on the Right to Huffington Post on the Left - as I've searched superficially. See attachment as well:

Additional References.JPG
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Senior Member
This branch supports research in the etiology and pathophysiology of mental disorders of late life (such as Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, neuroregulatory and hemostatic disorders, and menstrual cycle disorders

Och boy. They still think Alzheimer is mental.

Menstrual cycles in late life?


CCHR might be Scientology related, its not a good idea to quote them directly. Instead, independently review what they claim.

I agree - though I think it's also useful to have an idea of what's being said in pop-media (don't know if CCHR would qualify as that), as well as various demographic circles - political, etc.

I guess the ME community is varied and fragmented and (like the problem research) that's going to produce a message that may itself be somewhat vague.

Even if the community though has a message that it does attempt to deliver to the world, I can't help but wonder how this is weak as well, in the sense that the same message may be delivered to a mass of people - vs taking our message and emphasizing it according to a targeted group, so to speak.

And here I'm just thinking of American politics bc I'm most familar with this - but I think I would highlight different elements of our plight depending on if I was trying to recruit help from tea party folks, republicans, libertarians, green individuals, democrats (general?), democrats (further left), etc. I just wonder what could be done to piggyback on issues already close to the heart of each community.

I don't have answers - just "thinking aloud". I also don't have loyalties to any particular group (political / non-political / religious / non-religious / etc.) and will take help where help is offered. :)


Rebel without a biscuit
So to net out what I got from (briefly) perusing the Michael Shiranski stuff and the reference #6 article:
They're going to cave in on ME having an initial biological causation but all that interaction with our environment and our attitude toward our being seriously ill has caused a feedback loop that keeps us sick.
Is that maybe what is his expected contribution?
Why? Why work so hard at denial when the reality is literally staring them in the face.